160309: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary T-B A21: A Question of Evidence

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary T-B A21: A Question of Evidence Art as a means of evidence Can art unfold political brisance? Can it be used as a medium for change of, or resistance to, repressive regimes? Which form of art can achieve these goals? And in which context can art – be it as a protest, rebellion, or information - really be effective? Rarely has an exhibition so emphatically succeeded in raising these kinds of questions. The works shown in “A Question of Evidence” refer to the realities in south and central Asian countries. Anwar Kanwar’s contribution devotes itself to the Burmese resistance movement. Starting point of his video installation “The Torn First Pages” is the story of Ko Than Htay, a bookseller, who was imprisoned because he tore the cover sheets out of the books before he sold them. The sheets included propaganda slogans by the Burmese military regime. Kanwar transforms this event aesthetically by projecting the elliptically structured film material on transparent paper. The poetry and metaphors support the bewilderment caused by the pictures, which narrate stories about the victims and offer an insight into the state events and doctrines. The other contributions, similar to Kanwar’s work, are documents calling upon the establishment of truth. That the artistic strategies can often only be just as encoded and self censored is not only evident in the picture-text-tales by Raqs Media Collective from India. Hong Kong born Pak Sheung Chuen filters messages which were hidden in a receipt. The photo collages by Heman Chong, who lives in Singapore, remind of political prisoners and, by eliminating what is shown, simultaneously erases any memory of them. Extremely impressive: Khin Khin Su allows his audience to peek through a small opening in the wall, where it will find a message conveying how much fear is connected with the effort to achieve artistic freedom and freedom of opinion under a dictatorship. Against the background of the continuous discussions in Austria on freedom, possibilities, and responsibility of art, this exhibition clearly shows that far more existentialist questions are raised elsewhere. By Manisha Jothady Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary T-B A21 1010 Vienna, Himmelpfortgasse 13/9, until 05.04.09 www.tba21.org

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (alte Location)
1010 Wien, Himmelpfortgasse 13/9
Tel: + 43 1 513 98 56, Fax: + 43 1 513 98 56 22
Email: office@tba21.org
Öffnungszeiten: Di-So 12-18 h

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